CHARLES PATRICK (“CHUCK”) CAMPBELL
October 21, 1937 – March 10, 2019
Chuck Campbell was born in Tacoma, WA in the midst of the Great Depression, the only child of Chet and Rowena Campbell. While in Tacoma, he and his parents shared a home with his mother’s large extended family. The three of them moved to Los Alamos after World War II, when Chet became part of the effort to convert the Manhattan Project labs to post-war uses. They moved again to Colorado just as Chuck was entering high school, and he graduated from Boulder High in 1955. Eventually he would receive bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UC Boulder, with a concentration in English literature. His studies were interrupted, however, by a two-year sojourn in the Navy, where he spent two years on an LST (Landing Ship, Tank – or Large Slow Target) in the Pacific.
While at University, Chuck met and married his first wife. When they confessed to friends that they’d become disenchanted with their childhood faiths, the friends introduced them to the Unitarian (later UU) Church of Boulder. This encounter was the beginning of Chuck’s 59-year pilgrimage as a Unitarian Universalist.
In 1964, Chuck was accepted into a Ph.D. program in Boston. Once there, however, he realized his fellowship wouldn’t cover living expenses, and so he began to pursue other lines of work. He taught literature part-time at two local colleges, and found work with Arthur D. Little, a Cambridge consulting firm. During this time, he and his first wife decided to go their separate ways.
Tamara (“Tommi”) Wadsworth came into Chuck’s life in 1967. When they married the next year, he became an unofficial Dad to her three children, Dennis, Peter, and Jill. Tommi was also a UU, and together they became active in Boston’s Arlington Street Church. There they befriended a young lawyer named Sue Spencer, who remained friends with them through the years, and who would eventually become a UU minister. The Arlington Street congregation was bereft when, in 1979, the Campbells moved to Albuquerque to be closer to Chuck’s parents – and as the saying goes, “Arlington Street’s loss was First Unitarian’s gain.”
Chuck didn’t immediately find a teaching job in Albuquerque. Ever resourceful, he went to work for Mayflower, and for a few years drove moving vans all over the country. In 1982, he and Tommi found teaching jobs at the University of Albuquerque, and when it folded, he began a Ph.D. Program at the University of New Mexico. When he earned his doctorate at age 51, in Technical Communication, he was fortunate to land a tenure-track position at New Mexico Tech in Socorro. He taught at Tech for 12 years, retiring in 1999.
Although Chuck had been a “band geek” in high school, his love of the tuba blossomed after he came to Albuquerque. He first played with a German band, Die Polka Schlingel, whom he discovered through a classified ad in the newspaper. Other bands included the High Desert Brass Quintet and the New Horizons Band. In later years, the traditional jazz of New Orleans was his primary passion, and for 17 years he held the Tuba position with the Route 66 Revelers.
When Tommi died in 2011, Chuck and his old friend Sue Spencer resolved to stay in touch. Their long friendship blossomed into “something more,” and they married in 2012. From then until Chuck’s death, they counted themselves blessed to be together – and when Sue became the Developmental Minister in Las Cruces, Chuck became the best clergy spouse anyone could ask for.
Chuck was diagnosed in 2007 with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (CLL). For many years he was active despite this life-threatening illness – traveling, playing music, enjoying the out-of-doors, going to church, and generally finding joy in life. In the last 10 days of his life, he played three Mardi Gras gigs and one concert band practice, before the disease process finally caught up with him. He died at Presbyterian Hospital in downtown Albuquerque at 54 minutes past midnight on Sunday, March 10, 2019. A Memorial Service was held at First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque on April 13, 2019, with the Rev. Angela Herrera officiating.
Memorial gifts may be made to the Ministerial Internship Fund of First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque (3701 Carlisle Blvd. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87110), to the ACLU Foundation of New Mexico (P.O. Box 566, Albuquerque 87103), or to the New Orleans Traditional Jazz Camp Scholarship Fund (P.O. Box 15851, New Orleans, LA 70175).
Daniels Family Funeral Services
7601 Wyoming Blvd NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109
First Unitarian Church of Albuquerque - Ministerial Internship Fund
3701 Carlisle Blvd NE, Albuquerque NM 87110-1642
To donate please click on the link under 'Giving', then select 'Other Donations:', and type in Ministerial Internship Fund, then the amount you wish to give.
ACLU of New Mexico Foundation
PO Box 566, Albuquerque NM 87103
New Orleans Tradtional Jazz Camp
PO Box 15851, New Orleans LA 70175